Lentil Dal - A light, easy vegetarian dish for any day of the week. This lentil dal is light, bursting with flavour, hearty and super healthy. Perfect for any seasons, especially if you're looking for some super comfort foods!
Dhal, Dal or Dalh (there are so many spelling variations!) is a classic Indian lentil dish. The recipe for this actually came from my brother and sister in law who is a vegetarian, and it has been one of our favourites for many years.
I love cooking recipes from countries that I've travelled to, and I must admit India had some of THE BEST food I have ever tasted in my life. I visited in 2015 on a school trip as a teacher chaperone (best and worst thing ever!). India had some of the best food I've ever eaten, and we ate copious amounts of dal while we were over there.
Although we had been making our own Indian red lentil dal prior to my trip, I discovered that this recipe is actually very similar to the dal I had in India. The red lentil dal we tasted in Northern India was not spicy at all, and I found it was really heavy on the turmeric, giving it a gorgeous orange colour.
About Indian Lentil Dal
What is Dal?
Dal is referred to as both an ingredient and dish in India. Dal as an ingredient is a split pea, and dal as a dish is the stew that is made from lentils or split peas.
There are so many different variations of dal, depending on the area of India you are in. For this recipe, I use mainly red lentils.
What ingredients go in Lentil Dal?
For this recipe you'll need the following ingredients;
- olive oil
- brown/yellow onion
- ground tumeric
- good quality vegetable stock
- fresh tomatoes
- dried red lentils
These recipe ingredients are readily available in all supermarkets. Dried red lentils are the preferred lentil type for this recipe. I love red lentils and these don't require any prior soaking or cooking.
What equipment do I need?
The beauty of this recipe is that it's a one pot recipe. To make it, I usually use a cast iron Dutch Oven but have also made it in a large heavy based saucepan as well.
If using a cast iron, you do need to be a bit careful about the dal sticking to the bottom of the pan. I've found in the past you need to keep stirring it every so often. I haven't found it to be a problem with using a saucepan though.
How do I serve lentil dal?
There are a few ways you can serve this lentil dal. You can serve it over rice with naan bread, or just with naan, or just by itself. I like to add a dollop of greek yogurt to the top of it and serve with a sprig of coriander/cilantro.
How to store Lentil Dal
I usually keep leftovers for my lunch the next day. Store in an air tight container in the fridge and use up as soon as you can. I haven't tried to freeze lentil dal before, but definitely like to keep it for one more meal the next day.
This dish is great for easy weeknight dinners if you're looking to pack more plant-based recipes into your diet, or fancy up for an Indian-style feast! This recipe is super versatile, super tasty and super easy to make.
Want more lentil dishes?
- Spicy lentil soup
- Sweet Potato, Lentil and Kale Curry
- Vegetable Coconut Curry
- Beetroot Feta Lentil Salad
Red Lentil Dal
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 yellow/brown onion finely diced
- 2 carrot diced
- 2 garlic clove finely diced
- 2 tsp grated ginger
- 1 tsp turmeric ground
- 4 cups vegetable stock
- 1 ¼ cup red lentils around 8 oz
- 4 roma tomatoes diced
- Heat olive oil in a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat.
- Fry the onion until soft, then fry the ginger and garlic.
- Add the turmeric and stir until fragrant.
- Add the vegetable stock and bring to the boil.
- Once the stock is boiling, add the lentils and bring to the boil.
- Add tomatoes and carrot, bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer covered for 30 minutes or until lentils and vegetables are cooked through.
- Serve as is, or with naan bread or brown rice
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